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Creating an RFID Gorilla

Here is how to become the dominant player in RFID and ignite exponential growth.
By Mark Roberti
Feb 11, 2018

I see a lot of companies that make radio frequency identification products struggling, even though adoption is growing at a healthy clip. The problem sometimes is that they don't offer a product the market wants, but often it's that they have good products but no coherent marketing strategy. They try a lot of different options in the hope of finding the magic bullet that has so far eluded their competitors.

I'm here to tell you that there is no magic bullet—no secret way to make CEOs wary of RFID suddenly write a check for a system. But there is a way to grow your business and even become the RFID "gorilla."

"Gorilla" is the term that Geoffrey Moore, the author of Crossing the Chasm and other seminal works on new technology adoption, uses to describe the dominant player in a new technology market. According to Moore, new technologies do not take off until a gorilla emerges. So with that in mind, and with all due credit to Moore, here is how to become the dominant player in the RFID market.

1. Build the whole product—or develop partnerships that can deliver the whole product—for a single industry. Companies hate complexity because it creates risk, which is bad. By creating an integrated solution (tags, readers and software) that solves the problems of one industry, a company can reduce complexity and risk, making it easier for CEOs to sign off on an investment. I would add that the simpler the solution the better, because that also reduces risk.

2. Market that solution to those most likely to adopt. Too many companies waste money trying to market to large numbers of retailers or manufacturers or logistics companies that have expressed no interest in RFID. These solution providers think that their offering is so good and their salespeople so talented that they can convince anyone to buy their solution. If that worked, however, the industry would be booming right now.

3. Conduct narrowcast advertising. More companies are adopting RFID, but it is still a small percentage of firms in any given industry. I would advertise specifically to those executives researching RFID solutions. I would try build my brand with those most likely to deploy an RFID solution within the next 12 months. And I would offer a white paper to capture the contact information of those likely to adopt soon.

4. Provide outreach at RFID events. Companies that send executives to attend RFID events are most likely to adopt RFID solutions within a year. But too often, exhibitors sit in their booths and passively wait to talk to whoever strolls in. I would research who is attending (most shows publish lists of companies) and use tools that event organizers provide to request meetings. I would also send each person from my target companies a personalized email, telling them how our solution might benefit their firm, and asking to set up a meeting.


Issac Abraham 2018-02-17 07:59:11 PM
Hi Mark Roberti, excellent article which describes practical approaches in winning customer confidence among RFID vendors.

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